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#OnTourWithAwedana : Rocks of Fear – Pikworo Slave Camp (Paga, Ghana)

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The sight and the overall experience of Pikworo Slave Camp take away all doubts about the veracity and reality of the slave trade in Africa. The presence of empirical evidence in the form of relics is enough to disabuse all doubting minds. Perhaps the cliché, “seeing is believing” should be the emphasis here. 

Pikworo Slave Camp is geographically situated approximately 3 KM West of Paga in the Upper East region of Ghana.  It’s located in a village called ‘Nania’. The camp is one of the few tourist sites in Africa with remarkable routes of historic relevance and is known in history as the hoarding, auctioning, and transmission point of slaves. It acted as a transit camp for the slave trade. Slaves were held hostage in the Pikworo slave camp before being transferred to Salaga in the Northern Region. In short, it acted as an intermediary between slave traders.

Legend has it that, the Pikworo Slave Camp was founded by a brave hunter and farmer. The village (Nania) was then developed into a trading center for the Hausa, Mossi, and Zambrama traders where their exchange activities took place.

The story of the slave trade sound is really gory sometimes. However, coming face to face with the facts of history gives a refreshing feeling of how far we have come as humans in our very existence. It’s sometimes incomprehensible and shocking how the purpose of a fully-fleshed human being could be altered and converted to the extent of being a slave. But the evidence available is more factual than fiction.

Centuries back, the slave trade was a very lucrative business activity and because of its dominant nature, it enriched slave masters and other people of higher ranks in the slave market. Nania became the first stopover and an auction market for slaves captured in surrounding lands as well as those brought from the Sahara. It was situated in a very rocky area hence the name ‘Pikworo’ which means ‘rocks of fear’. The rocky nature of the place largely defined the living conditions of the slaves in the camp. 

Life in the camp could best be described as rude and crude. Unlike the luxuries we enjoy today, slaves captured and sent to Nania had to be tied against trees and rocks to sleep. They ground cereals on rocks. They prepared food on rocks. They ate from holes created on rocks and drank from a nondrying opening in rocks.

They walked barefooted and experienced inhuman treatments as penalties for wrongdoing or non-compliance with directives. For instance, there was a site of the camp dedicated to punishing slaves where they were tied to a rock and made to watch the sun.
Dead slaves were buried in groups in a single hole dug around the camp and covered with a medium-sized rock placed on top of the grave as an epitaph to indicate the site as a burial ground for the dead. 

One interesting aspect about the stopover of slaves at Nania was that, despite the harsh conditions they faced, slaves had the chance of producing music with stones used to hit the rocks in a rhythmic manner, creating a pleasant sound with some of the slaves dancing to the tune. In all it won’t be wrong to say slaves in Pikworo slave camp lived “rocky” lives since almost every aspect of their lives was hinged on rocks.

Visiting the slave camp gives a lot of flashbacks and touching memories to behold-Memories that indicate the actual toil of our forefathers and some of the circumstances they faced and memories that give you insights towards making the world a better place. Until you visit the ‘Pikworo’ slave camp, you’ll always be tempted to liken the storylines of “12 years a slave” to “Tom and Jerry”.The former is a real-life issue and the latter is fiction. Don’t dwell in doubts for the rest of your life. Spare a moment, explore and reconnect with the past: it’s a priceless experience.
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Story by: Bobi Awedana Herty/thesavannaonline

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TRENDS RUNWAY HELD IN TAMALE

Trends Runway show was held in Tamale at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in November 2021.

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Trends Runway held in Tamale

The maiden edition of the Trends Runway show was held in Tamale at the Aliu Mahama Sports Stadium in November 2021. The night brought some delight to the city of Tamale. Generally, the organizers were impressed with the number of audiences who turned out for the program and the patience they exercise and stayed till the show was over.

READ ALSO: Bafowaa: The radical afro/R&B artiste with a new sound and vibe 

One of the Accra-based designers, expressed his joy and delightfulness at seeing the audience still glued to their seats as late as 12 midnight when people would begin to leave at about 9 pm in Accra when the show has not ended. The atmosphere and reception of the people of Tamale were a new experience for him and this overwhelming. According to him, this was an indication that they were really welcomed in Tamale with their fashion.

The missing vibe in the organization’s structure was the conspicuous absence of women. In an interview with Abdul Raafi Mohammed on Sanatu Zambang Hotspot Live, the organizers bemoaned the difficulty of getting women involved in working with them but they hope to improve upon representation in the subsequent editions.    

READ ALSO: THE OTHER TRUTH

They also expressed some difficulties in training the models. They had to run shifts for the trainees because most of them were not regular and kept missing days in training. This made their work very difficult.

Talking of the sponsorship, the organizers admitted that, they had a tough time getting people and organizations to sponsor the program.  They reiterated that most cooperate bodies would ask for sponsorship letters but when the letters are given out to them, they would decline to grant any sponsorship.  

In organizing this fashion show, they noted that most of their sponsorships came from friends and family members, which was totally unacceptable and discouraging for the growth and success of the program.

One of the points that were also highlighted in the interview was the fact that designers are being limited by clients says Abdul Raafi. Fashion designers are not being challenged by clients to be creative and come out with their own designs. Clients come to seek services demanding replicas of dresses they see on the internet. But the panelist was of a different view. They said it was the duty of these fashion designers to educate their clients about the fashion business and the work they actually do.  

 Source: Cynthia Kuyoli | Sanatu Zambang

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Prempeh Writes – WISDOM: GHANA, A NATION IN SEARCH OF “WHY” ANSWERS

If l were a leader, l will cut down all needless and pretentious democratic and political shows by 90 percent.

The too-knowing and half-baked, partisan journalists are sinking the nation.

Similarly, comprador civil society groups keep trading Ghana cheaply, keeping the nation in the orbit of perpetual recolonization.

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Prempeh writes - WISDOM GHANA A NATION IN SEARCH OF WHY ANSWERS

l usually don’t chat on group WhatsApp platforms. But yesterday, l had the pleasure of exerting epistemic madness on two professors.

After all said and done, wisdom prevailed that we should suspend the needless, uninformed comparison between Ghana and the late industrialized nations – the Asian Tigers.

I graciously succeeded in convincing my interlocutors that the problem of Ghana and the world isn’t technical (how answers), but adaptive (why answers).

After politics suffocates the nation, splitting us into needless tribalistic pieces, l relax with the sagacity of the sages on GBC every Friday.

I pray that, as a nation, we will take a break, see the ontological nobility of the other and polish the pearls of ancient wisdom to advance human flourishing.

My readings allow me to surmise that the world has progressed technologically in a manner that is unprecedented.

Similarly, we have retrogressed morally in breaking all ethical and ontological boundaries.

The above antinomy is precise because, whereas the “why” endless questions were anterior to the “how” pragmatic answers, the inverse of the two has been the aporia of human civilization.

Whenever l read the Bible, especially the Egyptian enslavement of the Israelites, l see the wisdom in enslavement for building in us, resilience and empathy.

No wonder, God’s major concern wasn’t about the “how” progress of the Israelites, but the “why” issues of their civilization (cf. Deuteronomy 8).

If l were a leader, l will cut down all needless and pretentious democratic and political shows by 90 percent.

The too-knowing and half-baked, partisan journalists are sinking the nation.

Similarly, comprador civil society groups keep trading Ghana cheaply, keeping the nation in the orbit of perpetual recolonization.

In replacement, l will assemble young men and women to dialogue with the older generation to take Ghana from our between and betwixt state to the next level.

At least, in my home, no politics. No anxieties about material things.

We hold the philosophy that when one shares power, one loses influence. When one shares the wealth, one loses worth. But when one share love, one receives life.

Enough of the needless partisan politics. Let’s reinstate wisdom and sanity in the public sphere.

The noise is too much, no wonder logic runs in the reverse in the public sphere.

Kasa no adoo so. Maganganu yaa ya wa mu na.

Satyagraha

Prempeh Charles

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CHARTERHOUSE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FRYTOL HOSTS THE 4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT

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To commensurate the world’s annual celebration and honoring women dubbed International Women’s Day, leading event’s company, Charterhouse in partnership with Frytol has successfully hosted the 4th edition of its annual National Women’s Summit. The summit was held on 8th March at the Grand Arena inside the Accra International Conference Center.

Theresa Ayoade, convener of the summit and CEO of Charterhouse, Theresa Ayoade as part of her opening speech “I believe each year we make more progress towards gender parity. This year’s theme is so apt right now because it challenges each of us here to be intentional about breaking biases towards women. Right from the homes and how we socialize our male and female children. What are the things we say to them and how do our culturally and socially accepted gender roles continue to perpertuate these biases against our gender? I have been guilty of gender bias and I was called out by my daughter. Then I realised that I was unconsciously exhibiting biases out of probably my upbringing. How do we sow seeds now so there’s a pipeline for the next Women Leaders? This is what the NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT is about”

The keynote speaker was in the person of Mrs. Abiola Bawuah. She is the Regional CEO, West Africa, overseeing the group’s business in nine countries. She joined UBA Ghana in 2013 as Deputy Managing Director and was elevated to serve as the MD/CEO of UBA Ghana in 2014. She was appointed in 2018 as Regional CEO West Africa One, responsible for 6 countries. She touched on the constant need to give the girl child a chance to do and be more.

As part of the summit, panel discussions were held on two themes namely; BREAK THE BIAS and YOU DESERVE A LIFE OF GOODNESS and these featured some of the most experienced business leaders in Ghana who were invited to also share their stories and expertise. The panelists for the Break the bias session included, Dr. Mabel Banson, first female Neurosurgeon in Ghana. Theresa Yamson, CEO- Riker (GIHOC) Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Anna Nabere – Manager SHE LEADS project by Plan International and finally students from Accra Girls Senior High school namely, Marie Lyse Quansah and Nafisa Mohammed.

4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT
4TH NATIONAL WOMEN’S SUMMIT

In her speech, Patience Ofori Mpereh, Marketing Director – Wilmar Africa, said “Every woman has a desire to manage and balance everything; family, profession, Raising children and others; and to live her life to the fullest- this I believe most of us here can relate. As we juggle all activities as wives, single women, mothers, or professionals, we ought to remember that our mental, physical and financial framework among many others need to be sound”. She ended her speech by unveiling the brand ambassador for Frytol. “She is a woman who resonates with our target audience: a professional woman with years of experience in the media, a radio anchor, one of Ghana’s finest actors, a wife & a mother of two and a fitness advocate, who strives to balance it all as a woman.  Therefore, on this journey of Goodness, we are happy to announce for the very first time, the Frytol Brand ambassador Nisirine Ashorkor Doku- popularly known as Naa Ashorkor”

Speaking on the ‘You deserve a life of goodness’ panel featured distinguished Ghanaian business leaders; Ewuraba Ekua Adusei – Currently the Marketing manager of Wilmar Africa Limited with over 10 years’ experience in the FMCG. Akosua Amponsah Baffour Asiedu-Jones – CEO and general manager of Distribution & Co Limited (“DnC”), a full service distributor of FMCGs. Quiana Canfor-Dumas, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Science degree in Operational Management. Mrs. Helena Adu-Gyamfi – Managing partner of Perfect Personal Care and last but not least, Renee Opare-Otoo, a registered and licensed dietitian with over five years’ experience and consults as a nutritionist for the Ghana Football Association (the first ever appointed) and also offers in-person and virtual nutrition consultations for some clinics. 

Panel discussions were moderated by Edem Knight-Tay, programs manager, Joy Fm and newly unveiled brand ambassador, Naa Ashokor. The event was also coupled with an exceptional performance from songstress Cina Soul.

The 4th National Women’s Summit is sponsored by FRYTOL, supported by SHE LEADS by PLAN INTERNATIONAL, and produced by CHARTERHOUSE in collaboration with JOY FM.

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